On June 2023 we left Sardinia heading the Arctic with one quest: See the Northern Lights. This is the second year we are in the north to try to see them.
Long story short, our initial plan was to go Finland or Norway but we end-up remaining in Sweden 🤷🏻♂️, currently we are in Abisko. With the main goal in mind, remaining in Sweden was the most convenient thing to do, mainly because our remote work setup was already established: Norway we know already that find a good mobile data plan is impossible, no good options around and all of them are really limited and expensive, Finland we didn’t know what to expect, so risky and can create a lot of stress.
The place we decided to land is known as being one of the best spots to see the Northern Lights in Sweden, so chances were high enough.
First Attempt – Kiruna
First day that we arrived in Kiruna, the forecast apps were saying that the probability of seeing the northern lights was 10%. Well we were there for that, and 10% is much higher than 0% so we read some blogs about Kiruna and people were talking about this place called Nikkaloukta where the road to reach the place is quite and dark and there are many spots to stop.
We drove in that direction and found a lovely place midway to stay. We reached the place around 20:00 and started preparing the dinner. I was so excited that every 3 minutes I’d go out to see if I could spot something. The sky was crystal clear and in my mind it would be impossible to not see them.
At certain point I saw something in the horizon that looked more like a cloud, but a weird one in its form and color. It was not green, but almost like a smoke, I could see through it. I got the camera and took a picture and it was green-ish.
There we go! this is it we got it, I thought. Still I was not so sure. After a while it became stronger, and it was impossible to be something else. We’ve really got it!
We were still asking how come it is not that green ? Looking in the forecast apps indeed it was saying that solar activity was very weak.
Still, we were feeling lucky enough to have had the opportunity to see it. Plus the forecast was saying that next week we would have a good day with a decent solar activity but the forecast was not so exciting. We would have a week of rain ahead.
Second Attempt – Kiruna
Next day rained all day long, we kept monitoring the forecast.
In the following day, the weather forecast was not good either, but the aurora forecast was pointing to a strong solar activity. In the night the rain stopped but it was cloudy, and despite the bad weather we decided to give an try. Why not going to the same place we were 2 days ago and try it out ? We went there but was almost impossible to see anything.
This was our best shot for that day.
The funny part 😅
The forecast apps shows webcams from different places and there was a city called Porjus that was all green ! Beautiful night and indeed a strong solar activity. We were 2 hrs from that city and in a huge time window like this, a lot can happen. So we decided to call it a day.
The good news was that for the next day the solar activity would still remain strong but with clear sky. High expectations.
Third Attempt – Abisko
We heard that Abisko is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights in Sweden and as the forecast was promising, we went for that. We left Kiruna around 19:00 with a beautiful sky to reach Abisko 90 min later and … we got some rain in the road and sky was cloudy 😫
We went to a view point anyway. The weather was slowly getting better and better, the northern lights started to show up, and around midnight, the show started! Sky became crystal clear. It was one of the most amazing thing that I ever experienced!
There is always a funny part 😅! When we were there 2 guys came to us and started chatting.They kindly asked us to go away as we were in a military zone and we were not supposed to be there.
Time to go home
The winter is coming, and it is becoming super cold
We need to drive around 3600Km back to Italy and before starting drive like crazy to get out Sweden, we decided to stop in Porjus for the night and we could not have had a better good bye